Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

US Study Highlights Need for Wider Leadership Pool

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

US Study Highlights Need for Wider Leadership Pool

Article excerpt

Meet your average American college president: he's a 61-year-old married white man who has been in his current role for seven years and boasts a doctorate in education.

This profile, from the American Council on Education (Ace) study The American College President 2012, highlights one of the US sector's growing concerns: the rising average age of its leadership cohort.

Bryan J. Cook, director of the council's Center for Policy Analysis, said it could soon lead to problems for the academy.

"The anticipated wave of retirements among college and university presidents is of great concern and may present challenges or even a temporary leadership shortage," he said.

Despite this, Dr Cook added that the imminent loss of many presidents would present "a unique opportunity to diversify the leadership of American higher education".

The report found that the proportion of female presidents in the sector had risen slightly since 2006, from 23 per cent to 26 per cent.

However, the percentage of leaders from ethnic and racial minorities declined slightly, from 14 per cent to 13 per cent. …

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